Saturday, February 4, 2012

Music! Chrono Trigger Edition, Part 2

It's been a while since the last time I wrote about the music in Chrono Trigger which is, honestly, kind of a mistake.  The last time I talked about it, I only covered a small portion of it when, really, Chrono Trigger is one of those games that you could basically throw out any of the songs from it and have a fan.  Since there's no other news going on lately, because why would there be any news going on for me to write about, I think now is the perfect time to really go into another portion of the music.  Though really, there's never a bad time to reflect on Chrono Trigger's soundtrack.

The first song I want to showcase is one of the more upbeat tracks from the game.  Which is a little odd since it comes from a character who's in a ruined world.  Or, rather, a ruined future, which is thanks to the driving force behind the entire game, of course.  Robo's Theme has gotten a lot of attention for being what it is, as well as the strange similarity it bears with "Never Gonna Give You Up", a song you've no doubt heard in the last three years because of the internet sensation that was the Rickroll.  There's comparison/overlay videos out there and it hilariously does match up, but I'm not going to link one of those here.  You can find it on your own, I'm sure.  I have -faith- in you in this.

It helps that it's one of the related videos at the end of the song, of course.  At least, of this time of writing it, it is, since who knows what wacky shennanigans Youtube is going to pull in the future, rendering said things like this useless.  Regardless, it's not as in your face upbeat as some of the other tracks, but it's very optimistic sounding, which honestly fits Robo.  Not that I would say any of the songs -don't- fit their purpose, really, since that would just be untruthful.  Also a bit silly since it's blatantly obvious.  Still, Robo's theme was one of the songs that, while it wasn't in my 'favorites', it was always something I was glad to hear and it remains as much to this day.

In keeping of the theme with personal...uh, themes, next up is one of the ones that you might not want to hear, despite it sounding equally nice.  Lavos' theme carries a lot of different feelings and emotions with it, at least in what it tries to evoke, and that is once again quite fitting.  This is generally the theme you hear when Lavos shows up and the world looks a bit screwed - in fact, when he's in the process of wrecking the world of the future, this is what you hear.  Similarly, when you have to face him the first time (I believe), this plays, if only to remind you that Lavos is not something to be messed with which is, unfortunately, what you do right away.  Because you're the main character, of course.

Lavos' theme is one of those classic songs that I would just absolutely love to hear redone with actual instruments and/or a full-out orchestral arrangement.  I think the main 'dramatic' pieces of it would sound absolutely divine as violins personally, but maybe there is an even better instrument for them.  I just feel that, despite sounding good as it is, the chiptunes possibly don't convey the full range of things that the song tries to put out there.  Back then, imagination was good enough to elevate things but now that we have the ability and the resources to actually instill the full range of impact intended, but now it just isn't flying.  That isn't to say that I don't think Chiptunes fill the bill, music-wise, but that that using a full orchestra could bring this song in particular to a whole new level.

For the last song, I'm going to go with a little dual-purpose selection.  While it is still a personal theme as the rest of this post as been, it also serves as a nice contrast to the first Chrono Trigger Music post.  Since I ended the last one with Magus' theme, it only fits that I end this one with Frog's theme, with them being blood rivals and all.  Frog is one of the fan-favorite characters of the game thanks to a combination of his Sword skills, his 'unique' accent (that was taken away by CTDS's retranslation) and his backstory which is both intense and fairly tragic at the same time.  For his time, I think he was a fairly well-realized character as well, as he was quite fleshed out; in fact, you're practically handed his life story over the course of the main story and eventually the optional content towards the end.

It's a very regal sounding theme, yet also carries a very strong feel of determination.  Possibly one of the best moments of the entire game is when this song kicks in for the event prior to 'storming' Magus' castle.  'Storming' typed as it is because it's a little hard to storm a castle with three people.  (Since Chrono Trigger was one of the few games that at least tried to explain a party limit.)  I won't spoil that moment for you, but suffice to say it's one of the earliest examples I remember of my love for "Artifact" weapons.  It's mostly for game/story purposes nowadays obviously, but I think even now I'm always looking for another weapon that matches the standard of that one, and only a few have come close.

So there's another swath of Chrono Trigger's music laid bare for your enjoyment.  It won't be the last time I do this, I imagine, since I love the soundtrack and I've shown that I am willing to do many installments of this to really show off the variety and the goodness that is there.  Until next time, here's to game music, both classic and modern for being awesome in all sorts of ways.

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